Wish to Apply?
Applications for the second cohort will open soon. In the meantime if you are interested or have any questions please email Robert, Cameron, or Courtney using their contact information below
The Rural Business Innovation Lab (RBIL) is a cohort-based, entrepreneurial development program aiming to redefine the false narrative of rural decline. RBIL will build a peer network dense with innovative ideas, professional expertise, and resources needed for underserved rural entrepreneurs to start and scale their businesses.
RBIL aims to harness the current moment of COVID-19 recovery and take what we have learned from previous cohort-based programming to expand our focus on rural innovation businesses in fields like agriculture, ag tech, sustainability, construction, waste management, water reclamation, workforce development, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our current industry focus is on accelerating and building resilience within the natural resource and new climate economy value-chain. RBIL has four main objectives:
What do you get for participating?
The eligibility requirements may be waived for applicants that are mission aligned with advancing rural communities and the natural resources value-chain. Please contact Robert Harris, Lead Consultant if you don’t fit these criteria but still wish to apply.
Cohort One 2023
CEDA’s Rural Business Innovation Lab is proud to announce the selection of its first cohort, consisting of eight companies, including two nonprofits.
This diverse group of businesses and organizations has been carefully chosen based on their alignment with the program’s criteria and their demonstrated interest in scaling and innovation. The selected participants are set to embark on an eight-month journey to accelerate their growth and drive positive change in rural areas.
The first Rural Business Innovation Lab cohort consists of the following entities:
A premium equine food and supplement company. Their horse feed is an innovative use of organic and minimally processed superfoods. StableFeed’s goal is to provide today’s horse owner with a clean and wholesome feed option so that their horses can return to a more natural and raw diet.
A startup working to develop and market kernza grain products. Kernza is a regenerative crop (a cousin of wheat), which means that it lives for multiple years which in turn creates healthier soil. With more protein than any other grain and a high fiber food, kernza is taking over every aspect of the kitchen.
An online marketplace for meat producers and consumers. The Meatery’s goal is to educate consumers with access to small meat producers, supply options to a variety of products, and provide unique ways to cook up a great meal for the whole table.
Southeast Minnesota Food Rescue and Redistribution
A nonprofit that works with startup farmers from culturally diverse backgrounds, emphasizing indigenous products and practices. By connecting farmers who have an abundance of crops and homes that face food insecurity, this organization is both decreasing food waste and reducing food deserts.
A cricket farm that grows and harvests crickets for use in specialized food products. This is a product that not only fuels humans but also fuels the earth. With less water, land, and almost no emission of greenhouse gasses, 3Cricketeers’ products also provide more health benefits than a typical protein source. It’s the superfood that’s saving the planet and our health!
Makotah Veterinary Center
A rural veterinary center that provides services for a mixed variety of animals, running from dogs and cats to horses and cows. This practice is not only trying to serve their community with this necessary service, but also making legislative changes in the veterinary world to make it more accessible for small farmers in rural areas.
The cohort’s formation was a natural outcome, with applicants chosen based on their alignment with program goals and their potential for growth and innovation.
CEDA’s Rural Business Innovation Lab is committed to supporting rural entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth. With a focus on sustainability, climate change mitigation, and operational scalability, the program sets the stage for the participating businesses and nonprofits to thrive and make a lasting impact in their communities.
Wish to Apply?
Applications for the second cohort will open soon.
If you are interested or have any questions please email Robert, Cameron, or Courtney using their contact information below
The Rural Business Innovation Lab is made possible by support from Compeer Financial.